Sunday, March 24, 2013

Environmental Issue– Doing our Part

How we are lowering the carbon impact of our landscaping:

We started a pilot program two years ago to replace the gas engines on our mowers with propane. It was very successful and we have now converted 90% of our entire fleet of mowers to propane. An analysis by M. A. DeLucchi for Argonne National Laboratory concluded that the LPG fuel cycle produces the least amount of greenhouse gases of all the fossil fuel cycles, including that of diesel fuel. The study concluded that “Liquefied petroleum gas, consisting of 95% propane and 5% butane, offers a 20-25% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gas.
Low reactivity. Propane exhaust creates 60-70 percent less smog than the hydrocarbons in gasoline exhaust, according to studies by Southwest Research Institute.

Low air toxics. Propane cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens like benzene and toluene by up to 96 percent, compared to gasoline, according to studies by Southwest Research Institute.

Ground and surface-water safe. Propane is nontoxic; spills vaporize rather than soaking into soil or water.

 To complete our transition to sustainable we standardized on Stihl – cordless, battery-powered outdoor power hedgers, line Trimmers and blowers. The result is a new breed of environmentally responsible products, eliminating both noise and exhaust emissions. Using the newest technologies with re-chargeable and fully recyclable, lithium-ion batteries, we can continue to provide the best landscaping services possible and cause less disruption to your household.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Our Sustainable Initiative & Motivation

In 2011, we began seeing landscape maintenance companies all over the country converting their mowers to propane with positive results. In 2012 we converted 2 of our midsize mowers over to propane to see how they would perform. In January of 2013 we have converted our entire fleet of mowers to propane. Also, we will be converting our 2-cycle hand held equipment; leaf blowers, weed eaters, and hedge trimmers to battery power. This will mean less pollution and less noise. When our clients are having meetings at their home office less noise while our team is there. Makes for a less disruptive meeting. The same goes for the few commercial accounts we have. I have been in several meetings where the blowers and line trimmers were so loud we had to stop the meeting for the landscape technician to pass by because of the noise.

For our company to do it’s part to leave less of a carbon footprint on the planet and a cleaner environment. I believe this is the future of the Landscape Industry.

The challenges of Becoming Eco Friendly
Receiving correct information about the new technologies and in some cases the products are so new it’s all learning curve for everyone involved. From manufacture to the contractor. And of course new technology means the products are expensive.
Why was this goal so important?
Linda and I hope that Jefferson landscaping can do their part in leaving this planet in better shape for generations to come. For our children and their children.

First in the State to Become Energy Efficient
In Washington State, we are the only ones with propane mowers and battery hand held equipment. Especially the size of our company we will be converting to propane, 5- 21" mowers, 6-midsize mowers. The 2 cycle equipment will be converted to battery power is 5 line trimmers, 6 hedge trimmers and 5 leaf blowers.
Why aren’t more companies following suit?
Cost and learning curve. With new technology there are always a few problems. We think the small problems we run into are worth a cleaner environment.
The Benefits & Cost Savings of Going Green
Less exhaust, less fumes , less noise. With the propane conversion mowers we should recoup our investment in 3 years. The emission results to our planet is immediate.

Feedback From our Customers
The feed back from our clients is very positive. Especially the ones who see the big picture with or without children.